Netanyahu reportedly rebuked Obama in phone call
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Monday he would soon send a team led by his national security adviser to Washington for consultations with the United States on a final nuclear deal with Iran.
“I spoke last night with President Obama. We agreed that in the coming days an Israeli team led by the national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, will go out to discuss with the United States the permanent accord with Iran,” he said in public remarks to members of his Likud party.
“This accord must bring about one outcome: the dismantling of Iran’s military nuclear capability,” said Netanyahu, who has denounced Sunday’s interim deal between world powers and Iran as a historic mistake.
Although the prime minister himself did not offer details about his conversation with Obama, a Netanyahu confidante, Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi, told Israeli media on Monday that Netanyahu rebuked his counterpart in the White House.
“The prime minister made it clear to the most powerful man on earth that if he intends to stay the most powerful man on earth, it’s important to make a change in American policy, because the practical result of his current policy is liable to lead him to the same failure that the Americans absorbed in North Korea and Pakistan, and Iran could be next in line,” Hanegbi said.
During the conversation, Obama maintained that the P5+1 — the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — would use the next several months to forge a “lasting, peaceful and comprehensive” solution to the Iranian problem.
There was no indication that the two discussed Netanyahu’s outspoken criticism of the interim agreement.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu took a hit from new Labor Party leader MK Yitzchak Herzog, who charged that “he has harmed our relations with the U.S. and hasn’t brought about an improved agreement. He [Netanyahu] did the right thing by calling global attention to the Iranian issue, but he’s just missing the point now,” Herzog told reporters on Monday.
“He has created a total lack of trust between us and Obama rather than a trusting relationship,” he added. “I think he’s generating unnecessary panic. Judgement day isn’t here yet.
“The window created in the last six months was critical and there’s only friction instead of dialogue. Ministers are jumping at every open microphone. Does one really think that Yacimovich or Steinitz can change the situation?”
Herzog also criticized the American administration for its part in a dysfunctional relationship with Israel.